Spring is right around the corner and in Texas, spring weather brings storms. Lightning safety should be a serious concern in storm-prone areas, as not only is it unsafe, but it is also responsible for millions of dollars in damage to homes every year. Lightning preparedness is not just beneficial for the prevention of storm damage, but it frequently helps to keep homeowners insurance premiums lower as well, since it reduces the need for insurance claims related to lightning. With the following tips from home owners insurance companies regarding lightning safety and home lightning protection, homeowners can reduce their risk of damage and injuries, and stay safe during the upcoming storm season.

Practice Good Lightning Safety Habits

Besides structure damage, lightning causes hundreds of injuries to people every year. Although 90 percent of victims injured by lightning survive, many are left with permanent injuries - like hearing and vision damage, nerve and neurological damage, bone and muscle injuries, and scarring burns. Avoiding situations that put a person at risk for being struck, or affected by an indirect strike, is essential. It also includes heading for secure, indoor cover at the sound of thunder, or getting inside a car. Additionally, it means avoiding concrete floors, metal structures and using electronic equipment, as well as avoiding water, and any objects or structures that may conduct electricity.

Protect Homes Against Lightning Strikes

The first line of defense that any home in an area that sees frequent electrical storms, is grounding the home with a professionally installed lightning protection system. These systems provide a path for the electricity generated in a lightning strike to pass over the home and straight into the ground, offering a great deal of protection not only to the structure, but to all of the electronic components inside. These systems are comprised of lightning rods affixed to the roof, which are connected to grounding wires that run down the structure and join at a grounding rod that is set deep into the ground. When a lightning strike occurs, the electrical pulse follows the wires to the rod, and then dissipates safely into the ground. Lightning experts and homeowners insurance companies estimate this prevents 99 percent of damage that would have occurred otherwise.

Protect Electronics Against Lightning Surges

Lightning can also cause damage to homes in more ways than with a direct strike. Ground strikes, and strikes on or near power lines can also affect a home and the electrical wires running into it - damaging any electronics in the home. For this reason, home owners insurance reps recommended that a person also install a surge protection device so that any electrical power surges into the home will be diverted to the ground. These devices are usually used with full lightning protection systems, and are a second line of defense against lightning damage.

The third line of defense against damage from electrical surges caused by lightning, is utilizing individual surge protection devices on outlets where expensive electronics are plugged in. By themselves, these devices are not strong enough to prevent an electrical surge entering the home from damaging the electronics. Although when used as a backup with a home surge protection device, it is possible to prevent any damage that may result from any remaining current surge.

When it comes to lightning, a homeowner can never be too careful. As spring storm season arrives, it is important to heed these safety warnings from homeowners insurance companies, and look into lightning protection systems and surge protection devices for unprotected homes. Not only will these items help prevent home damage from the many storms that are likely on the way, but also the expensive home owners insurance claims that can result because of that damage!

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